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Enameloplasty, also called odontoplasty or tooth contouring, involves trimming away small amounts of enamel from one or more teeth.
It’s typically considered a cosmetic procedure that improves the shape or appearance of teeth, though sometimes it may be needed to accommodate a new dental restoration on the opposite arch.
This procedure is most likely performed on front teeth that are chipped or uneven. The desired shape or length can be achieved by shaving away some of the enamel.
Enameloplasty can be done independently or as a part of placing a crown or veneer. It may also be performed with orthodontic treatment, such as braces.1
Your dentist may perform an enameloplasty if you have:2, 3, 4
Enameloplasty can buff away sharp edges and reshape a tooth to match the teeth around it. This can make it an important supplement to orthodontic treatment.
The primary advantages of this procedure include:
The disadvantages of enameloplasty all stem from the fact that lost enamel can’t grow back. Your enamel is already thin, and losing too much of it could result in:
This procedure is simple and noninvasive and won’t take longer than 10 minutes. However, if you’re having further work done (such as veneer or crown placement), your time with the dentist may be longer.
Your teeth may have some tartar buildup that could get in the way of shaving down the enamel. If this is the case, your dentist will clean the area before proceeding with the enameloplasty.
Enameloplasty is painless and doesn’t require anesthesia. There aren’t any nerve endings in your tooth enamel. Regardless, your dentist will aim to remove as little enamel as possible.
Your dentist will use special tools to sand away small amounts of enamel. These may include a fine diamond bur or a coarse polishing disc.2, 3
If you have multiple teeth that require enameloplasty, your dentist will generally work on one tooth at a time. They may use a very fine tool at the end of the procedure to give a final polish.2
Within 10 minutes, all of this should be done. You and your dentist can move on to any other dental work you need.
There isn’t much of a recovery process for enameloplasty since it’s a quick and noninvasive procedure. You should be able to continue eating, drinking, and caring for your teeth like you normally would.
However, you may have a bit of temporary sensitivity, so you may want to be cautious with especially hot or cold foods.
Essentially, yes. Enamel doesn’t grow back, so the removal isn’t reversible. You shouldn’t need to have enameloplasty performed more than once on the same tooth.
However, your dentist may find it necessary to perform enameloplasty in more than one session if you’re having other procedures done.
Enameloplasty is intended to remove only a very small amount of enamel. However, the average thickness of tooth enamel is only about 2 and a half millimeters to begin with.5
This means dentists must be very careful with how much enamel tissue they sand away. If a bit too much enamel is removed, or if your enamel is worn down for other reasons, you may have:
For these reasons, you may not be a good candidate for enameloplasty if you already have a high degree of enamel wear. You can talk to your dentist about the condition of your enamel and how they plan to minimize these risks.
Enameloplasty may cause your teeth to feel more sensitive than usual for a short time after the procedure. It shouldn’t permanently heighten your tooth sensitivity, but it is possible if too much enamel is removed.
You should contact your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect something is wrong or are in pain following enameloplasty.
Enameloplasty may cost between $50 and several hundred dollars per tooth. How much work you need, your location, and your dentist’s experience can all affect the cost.6
You may not be charged if your enameloplasty is being performed as part of your orthodontic (braces) treatment.
Insurance doesn’t generally cover cosmetic procedures, which typically include enameloplasty. However, in cases where enameloplasty isn’t considered purely cosmetic, your insurance may offer full or partial coverage.
If you have a chipped tooth or are having a crown placed, your enameloplasty might be partially covered. Contact your insurance provider to be sure.
Enameloplasty, also called odontoplasty or tooth contouring, is a cosmetic dental procedure. It trims or smooths away small amounts of enamel to reshape one or more teeth.
Your dentist may perform an enameloplasty to reshape uneven or chipped teeth. It can also prepare a tooth for a crown or veneer. Talk with your dentist if you’re interested or concerned about this procedure.
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